Use Photography to Document Your Travels

I know some photographers don't care about having images of people, modes of travel, or images of lodging but these images can really bring your presentations together. I am not talking about the gratuitous group photo of everyone standing around the table at the final dinner; I am talking about images of people experiencing the adventure hanging around the campfire or hiking up the mountain. When the viewer of your images sees people in the photos they get to understand what it was like to be there, in their mind, it could have been them.

I don't know about you but when I come home from a trip and someone asks me what it was like I am often at a loss. Sure I can say how incredible it was but I can never express the internal feelings I had during the experience. Photos can do that job for you. When they see the excitement on the face of someone watching a whale surface next to their boat the viewer understands how amazing the experience really was. Make your images of people worth looking at and they will be as important to your overall presentation as any image you come home with.

I was on an adventure with a family tour in the Galapagos Islands. The group was divided into two separate groups as we motored around looking for wildlife. We were traveling in two separate pangas, the small boats used to shuttle us to and from shore and the larger boat we lived on, When we spotted two orca whales feeding and away we went in hopes of getting closer views. We had no idea how close we would end up being. All of a sudden, on either side of us the two orcas surfaced right next to the boat. Talk about exciting! You could see the whole length of the whales alongside of us and it really reminded us of how small a boat the panga really was. So much was happening so fast it was difficult to know what to photograph. Whales, birds diving in for scraps left by the whales, it was constant excitement. I managed to compose myself to try to capture what was going on with my camera and I decided the way to do it was to photograph the whales surfacing next to the other panga. Their faces tell the whole story. When people see the image for the first time I always hear an “oh my God!” It's wonderful when your image gets an “oh my God”, or a gasp, or anything that lets you know your image made someone have an emotional reaction like that. Let your images do the talking.

Even if you don't have the benefit of orca whales to add that bit of excitement you can still use your imagination to bring your photos to life. Instead of simply making an image of someone walking down a trail, imagine how you can add excitement to the image. How will that image look if you make it while you are laying on the trail next to him or her as they walk by? Using a wider-angle lens and being at foot level and looking up at the subject as they walk by will give your image impact. Use your creativity and think about angles, perspectives, and movement. Use slow shutter speeds to show movement, use wide-angle lenses to emphasize objects close to the camera, be creative.

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